Google today is announcing the general availability of Preemptible virtual machines (VMs), a type of cloud infrastructure from the Google Compute Engine public cloud. These new VMs cost less than the Google cloud’s other available VMs, but they can be suddenly shut down by Google if, and when, the company needs the extra computing power.
Now Google’s service-level agreement backs up these new cloud resources. That makes it yet another service on the Google Cloud Platform that’s ready for startups and larger companies to feel comfortable using regularly.
Google regularly introduces features to make its public cloud as appealing as possible. Other recent releases include Cloud Source Repositories.
The idea of providing cloud resources at prices that are lower than usual thanks to the potential for interruptions isn’t new in public cloud. Amazon Web Services, the market leader, offers Spot Instances, which engineers can bid on — when prices exceed bids, the cloud resources stop working. Google’s Preemptible VMs, by contrast, have stable prices for specific flavors of VMs.
This type of cloud infrastructure might not be the best fit for every single application, given that they can cease to work at times. There’s a set pool of Preemptible VMs available from Google, and when everyone else is using them, it could mean you can’t. That means applications should be fault-tolerant in order to withstand downtime.
Still, Google has already found interest in Preemptible VMs for many kinds of computing work.
“During our beta, many customers both big and small have used Preemptible VMs to realize savings for themselves — in the areas of genomics and pharmaceuticals, financial modeling and simulation, rendering, media transcoding, manufacturing design, big data, and web crawling to name a few,” Google Compute Engine senior product manager Paul Nash wrote in a blog post on the news.
Learn more about Google’s Preemptible VMs here.